The flying Frenchman, Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard, North) has consistently finished towards the front end of the slalom fleet this year, but narrowly missed out on an overall podium ranking for ‘09, even after posting a final result of 3rd in Sylt.
Cyril is one of three brothers that race on the PWA World Tour. Siblings Sylvain (Starboard, Simmer) and Benoit (Starboard, Simmer) are often hot on Cyril’s heels, which must make for some heated debates over the Christmas dinner table, and has many followers of the tour wandering if the three of them have any family tactics around the course.
With a bit of time to kill on an early morning train from Sylt to Hamburg, we caught up with the man from Marseille to find out what he was thinking after a tiring week of slalom and wave competition.
PWA: Were you pleased with your result in Sylt?
CM: Yes, I had a great result and I enjoyed it a lot. Sylt is always an excellent event, it has some of the best organisation, and this year we were blessed with some seriously hardcore conditions for the wave eliminations.
PWA: How do you feel about your overall performance for the season?
CM: I’m a little bit disappointed, but it’s ok. 5th or 7th is the same for me. I would probably be more disappointed if I’d finished 4th, to be that close to the podium is extremely frustrating. I’ve had some very good results this year, with a 5th in Korea, 3rd in Pozo, 4th in Fuerte and a 3rd in Sylt. It’s the first year I’ve been so consistent, and I think that changing over to Starboard has helped me a lot.
PWA: Is there a lot of brotherly rivalry on the course? Or do you have team Mouss tactics?
CM: No there’s not really any rivalry at the moment. I suppose it could happen at some point depending upon the positions we’re in, but in general it’s just healthy competition. And sorry to disappoint you but we definitely don’t have any team tactics!
PWA: So there’s no dirt to dig, that’s a real shame! Which events are you looking forward to next year then?
CM: All of them. I seem to do well when the conditions are pretty hardcore but it shouldn’t be to much of a problem to increase my level in the lighter winds and flat water venues - I just need to work on my gear really.
PWA: What will you be doing over the winter then?
CM: I will work in Maui for one month finalising the new North Sails. Then I’ll spend two weeks in Thailand working on the 2011 Starboard range. The rest of the time I will spend at home in Marseille, south of France, training with my brothers.
PWA: So there is some sort of team Mouss then, albeit in Marseille. Which aspects of your sailing will you be working on?
CM: I will try to cover every point over the winter. This year I was very good through the gybes, I had a lot of control, and was competitive in a big wind range. I lacked a bit of acceleration and top speed – I mean I wasn’t slow, but I to win an event I need to be ahead earlier and control the pack like Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde) has done this year. So I’ll definitely be working hard on gaining that little bit of an extra boost.
PWA: What are your goals for the tour next season?
CM: I’m aiming to be on the podium at every event, and hope that if I can be consistent in that way then perhaps I’ll get a top three position for the year.
Sounds like a plan.
Thanks to Cyril Moussilmani for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to us.